Poem a Day

As a start to the day, I love to receive these poems, courtesy of the Poetry Foundation, and this one, along with so many others I have received, is beautiful:


This led me to prompt the ever-so-popular AI bot (see below dotted line at the end of this post) which always gives me a satisfying, easy read, telling me everything that it already knows about the topic. In my artistic endeavours, I am thinking through my senses, feeling towards that which is not yet known or hidden, invisible, trying to render that feeling in a painting as something palpably real – something that obviously involves factors that AI development (and its potential evolution) might aspire to but be unable to achieve. This brings me back to the consideration of the physicality of the original artwork, as being its essential logic, inherent to it, there at the very beginning. The painting shown here, Out of the Huge First Nothing (title based on a line by Whitman) has that in mind – that material came/comes first, and always – and to tie things up in completing this short paragraph, I note that there is a strong sense of the primal importance of material nature, as a governing factor of all matters, coming through in the poem, Christos (see link given at the beginning of this paragraph)

Out of the First Huge Nothing (oil on aluminium)

Logic is a very interesting field, as it involves reasoning that rests on what came first, and hence a sense of origin dwells in logic, making it a beautiful realm of exploration – leading me to remember an article recently in Aeon (I regularly receive their email newsletters)



write an essay comparing and contrasting painting and poetry.ChatGPT


Title: The Interplay of Expression: A Comparative Analysis of Painting and Poetry


Painting and poetry, two distinct forms of artistic expression, share the common goal of conveying emotions, thoughts, and ideas. Despite their differences in medium, both painting and poetry serve as powerful vehicles for communication and self-expression. This essay will explore the unique characteristics of each art form while also examining the ways in which they converge in their ability to evoke profound emotional responses.


  1. Medium and Form:
    • Painting:
      • Medium: Paintings utilize visual elements such as color, texture, and composition to convey meaning. Artists employ a variety of techniques, including brushstrokes and the choice of materials, to create a visual language.
      • Form: The canvas becomes a space for the artist to manifest their ideas, feelings, or interpretations of the world. The form is often static, captured in a single moment frozen in time.
    • Poetry:
      • Medium: Poetry, on the other hand, relies on the written word as its medium. The poet employs linguistic devices, such as rhyme, meter, and metaphor, to craft a verbal tapestry that resonates with the reader.
      • Form: Poetry can take various forms, including sonnets, free verse, or haikus. The arrangement of words and the rhythm contribute to the overall aesthetic and emotional impact of the poem.
  2. Imagery and Symbolism:
    • Painting:
      • Imagery: Paintings often convey meaning through visual imagery. Artists use symbols, colors, and shapes to evoke specific emotions or to convey complex ideas without relying on words.
      • Symbolism: Symbolism in painting can be both explicit and subtle, inviting viewers to interpret the work in their own way. The artist may use familiar symbols or create new ones to enrich the layers of meaning within the artwork.
    • Poetry:
      • Imagery: Poets paint with words, creating vivid mental images that appeal to the reader’s senses. Descriptive language and metaphorical expressions enhance the emotional impact of the poem.
      • Symbolism: Like painting, poetry often employs symbolism to convey abstract concepts. Metaphors and allegories provide a depth of meaning that extends beyond the literal interpretation of the words.
  3. Temporal Dimension:
    • Painting:
      • Temporal Limitations: A painting captures a single moment frozen in time. The viewer experiences the artwork as a whole, without a sequential order, allowing for immediate emotional impact.
      • Timelessness: Despite its temporal limitations, a well-executed painting possesses a timeless quality that transcends the specific moment it depicts.
    • Poetry:
      • Temporal Flow: Poetry unfolds over time as the reader progresses through lines and stanzas. The temporal aspect allows for a gradual immersion into the emotions and ideas expressed by the poet.
      • Dynamic Impact: The dynamic nature of poetry allows for the manipulation of time, enabling poets to create suspense, build tension, or evoke nostalgia through the careful arrangement of words.


In conclusion, while painting and poetry differ in their mediums and forms, they converge in their ability to convey profound emotional and intellectual experiences. Both art forms utilize imagery, symbolism, and a nuanced understanding of time to communicate with their respective audiences. Whether through the strokes of a brush or the arrangement of words on a page, painting and poetry stand as testament to the boundless possibilities of human expression. The interplay between these two forms enriches the cultural tapestry, inviting individuals to explore the depth of their emotions and the vastness of their imagination.

Digital transmutations of slow circle drawings prepared for online research discussion Thursday 7th March 2019






Many thanks to those who sent me their drawings.

Above are some digital transmutations from Slow Circle line drawings collected from my onliner peers.

I devised Slow Circle as a way of looking at new poetic possibility within the simple element of line. In Slow Circle, line is generated from zero at a single point of origin. The line is continuously generated “feeling” its way ahead along a predetermined course. It moves towards its inevitable conclusion, where it began.  No two circles can ever be exactly the same, each an individual.

Some thoughts:

How might something so fundamental as generating a single line from zero by hand with no tools other than a pencil and single sheet of paper be a stimulus for new thinking ab origine “from the beginning”.

What relevance might this have in our world now saturated with already-highly-complex imagery?


Origin always has echo

The art of our earliest ancestors is compelling, so I was interested to look through an article (see notes at end of post) in my inbox, which has triggered the following post:

Some time ago I did a series of paintings in which, amongst other matters, I was interested in trying to commune and reconnect with the time when we first tried to make sense of the world, our consciousness emerging. All of those paintings were vital to the formation and development of pictopoiesis, each one in its own particular way. The thread of common descent is maintained in pictopoiesis, origin always has its echo. Those earlier works are the common ancestors of my current work which includes digital pieces such as Fabric of Common Descent (video). 

A few of those earlier paintings are shown below. As I look back over them I recall some of the individual threads of pictopoietic thought at their conscious emergence. These threads have a contemporary context in, for example, the correspondences (threads that connect) between pictopoiesis and practopoiesis.

In terms of recalling my thoughts in general, in these paintings one pictorial element I had in mind was line.  I saw the line as taking the form of a feeling, exploring limb, endowed with haptic perception. The line explores, extends, grows, is cultivated, and where it finds a point of contact with another form (which may also be no form at all) it often develops five finger-like branches. I wanted to state as a fact of the painting the human hand that makes, as a truth equally general as it is personal. In the line exploration, the line as it grows (is alive) senses the presence and proximity of an other form. The line is therefore able to alter and modify its behaviour, and is altered accordingly, as it “thinks” its “intelligent” response to that which it encounters on its wanderings. Line is an active element throughout the painting physically and metaphysically, materially and immaterially, keeping idea and technique inseparable, weaving them together

The above mentions a few of the things I am trying to articulate more clearly in the unfolding of pictopoiesis. All of this is a very long work, the rest of my life but it has already taken me most of my life so far to be clear enough in my mind to be able realistically to contemplate doing this thoroughly. I am not meaning to put an interpretation on the paintings, not at all, rather to try to say as truthfully as I can what went into the making of these paintings, as something only I can relate. I feel this is important, it is for my own interest and satisfaction. But importantly I would like it to be in a form that has value to the wider world, hence my persistence in trying to articulate pictopoiesis as a general theory of painting formation, not confined to the individual practice, out of which it has emerged.




Archaeologists Have Discovered the World’s Oldest Cave Paintings—And They’re by Neanderthals

Scientists Have Discovered the World’s Oldest Figurative Art: a 40,000-Year-Old Cave Painting of Cattle

New Analysis of Cave Art Suggests That Prehistoric Humans Had Sophisticated Knowledge of Astronomy

Founding, Refinding and Unfolding



I did not imagine it

I made it

to disclose the instant

through the instance

of its making

Painting series above by JWR: each oil on aluminium, different scales (largest approx 125 x 125cm)

Notes to self: founding and unfolding pictopiesis//qualities: corporeality, thingliness, dinglichung//https://phenomenology//architectural – line, point, weave, fabric, loom,

also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenomenology



My paintings in the case of the above series are colourful, Guston’s work (below) instead, is a suspension of colour. But there is a structural/painterly correspondence between mine and this particular work at The Tate, by Philip Guston; the elements of painting are in fact few, such that there will always be correspondences to be found, even between radically differently-tempered interpreters of the material: